Nothing to it...
Have you ever seen the movie Water Boy? Throughout the movie, the water boy (played by Adam Sandler), would say, “Mama said, mama said…” and proceed to say what mama said. Well, I was thinking about some things that my mama said and one in particular comes to mind right now. My mama would say, “Nothing to it but to do it!” Easy enough, right? As the familiar Nike slogan suggests, “Just do it!” But, how many of you would say it’s in the ‘doing it’ that you get stuck? How many times have you began something that quickly fizzled out or you just plain gave up when the ‘doing it’ got hard? If you raised your hand, you’re in good company (rest assured my hand is raised). Or maybe you became fearful or overwhelmed… (again, my hand is raised).
I was recently on the big island of Hawaii. While there my husband and I were told to go to Kawi (pronounced Kah vee) at the north end of the Kona side of the island. The drive through Kawi dead ends at the scenic site of Upolu Point. This is an amazingly beautiful view point, but there’s an even better view and experience down a long, steep, and winding walking trail. We were in flip flops, but thought we’d dare the walk. You know, nothing to it but to do it.
The beginning of the trail was dirt, loose dirt, you know the kind that makes for the perfect recipe for a slip and fall, especially in flip flops with no tread. But we managed to get through it without falling and continued on. The next section was rocky and required careful attention to how to best navigate the stones without stubbing a toe or tripping. Then some steep man-made steps of sorts, and so on and so forth as the trail twisted and turned and went on and on and on. We knew we were getting closer, but the concern of having to return back up the trail plagued us. Just as we thought we were nearly to the bottom of the trail we saw another treacherous looking downhill slant of loose dirt. Now, I’d like to tell you we kept going, but sadly the “doing it” got lost in the “oh heck no!”
So, we turned around and began the uphill climb. Initially I felt alright with this decision, but once we reached the top and made our way back to our vehicle, the disappointment sunk in. I began to wish we hadn’t turned back and that we’d finished what we started. Granted our choice was a calculated decision based on risk (fall and get seriously injured) versus benefit (arrive at the elusive beach), but I still had some regret. This is often what happens when we stop short of our intended goal.
Well, this is frustrating. Now what? That darn little three letter word – BUT is a big deal. Nothing to it BUT to do it. I didn’t “do it.” BUT…
Thankfully, not all of my stories have fallen short of the goal. I have a few stories (and no doubt you do too) of reaching the goal-line. Stories where I overcame fear, and chose to be brave in the face of risk, and just DID IT!
Can I tell you one of those stories?
I’m taking liberty and am presuming you’ve said yes. 😊
So, let’s talk story…
I was working and living in Southern California. I worked at an elementary school and although my job was fulfilling enough, I was ready for change. I had just recently completed my Master’s degree in Educational and Clinical Counseling and was ready to work in the field of my degree. I began applying for jobs in education that focused on the clinical counseling side of my degree. It wasn’t long before I began to receive invitations to interview for behavioral health counseling work.
A few of these invitations came from the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) (insert jaw drop). A little back story… I’d vacationed in Hawaii a few times (alright, several times) and loved the islands, and secretly (or maybe not so secret) wanted to live there one day.
Alright, I’ll try not to digress again. But there is something I’d like you know about me. I have grandchildren and I LOVE spending time with them. So, you may be wondering why in the world I would apply for a job with Hawaii’s DOE?
It’s a rather long story, but in short, a two-word phrase began to grow in my heart and mind. That two-word phrase was ‘BE OPEN’. I was to be open to exploring opportunities wherever they might be. So, when I received an email referencing job opportunities with Hawaii DOE I applied.
I applied for the same position on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii. I began receiving letters that indicated I met the qualifications for the position. I felt excited and nervous all at the same time. Before I knew it, I received a phone call offering me an opportunity to interview for the position of Behavioral Health Specialist on Maui (say whaaaat?).
I accepted the offer to interview and interviewed via Skype. Within a couple of days, I received a job offer (jaw drop, two-hand cheek slap, whaaaat?!) …time for the rubber to meet the road. Could I follow through and ‘do it’ – accept the job offer and move to Maui? Could my husband and I pack up our home, ship our cars overseas, wave goodbye to our family and friends, step into the unknown, and ‘just do it’?
The answer was YES! I accepted the job offer. My husband and I flew to Maui to find a place to rent, packed our home and put our belongings in a storage unit, shipped our cars, said goodbye to our family and friends, and stepped into the unknown.
It was unknown how long we would live on Maui, how difficult or easy it would be to acclimate, if missing family and friends would be unbearable, what the job would entail, how it would feel to work with high school students again, if we could afford the island’s high costs, and a host of other unknowns … BUT…
When all was said and done, the benefits far outweighed the risks. (I’ll share the benefits with you in another blog, but suffice it to say, saying YES to this opportunity changed me).
Like my mama said, “Nothing to it, BUT to do it.” Overcoming fear and choosing to brave in the face of risk is seldom simple, but when we do, we’re forever glad we did.